Yoga, cycling, or running are part of your everyday life? Then you may be wondering whether you can continue with your hobby without restrictions even with a baby bump. In this article, you will find answers to these and other questions about sports in pregnancy. You will find out why exercise is so important during pregnancy. You`ll also find out which sports are particularly well suited for babies with babies.
What Influence Does Sport Have In Pregnancy?
A positive pregnancy test does not mean that you will have to do without your usual sports program. On the contrary, exercise during pregnancy is good for you and your baby. Of course, that the pregnancy runs smoothly and that you are both healthy. During pregnancy, the cardiovascular system is stressed more than usual. The fitter a woman is, the easier it is for her to make the physical changes that come with pregnancy.
Light endurance training is therefore ideal for your condition, and performance to hold and so prepare you for the coming months. Regular exercise improves the oxygen supply to the whole body, strengthens your immune system, and prevents numerous pregnancy complaints. For example, the risk of thrombosis, calf cramps, water retention, or hemorrhoids is reduced with a light, regular sports program. Also, exercise can help keep your weight gain in a healthy frame during pregnancy and prevent stretch marks.
But you not only benefit from a regular sports program during pregnancy. If you are in good physical shape, you are better prepared physically for the energy-consuming birth, and then you recover faster afterward. The thought of the upcoming birth and the new life situation may give you some tension from time to time. Here, too, sport can help you, because exercise releases happiness hormones and is therefore ideal for reducing stress.
Can I Exercise During The Entire Pregnancy?
In principle, sport is possible during the entire pregnancy, as long as it goes without complications. And there are no health reasons to oppose it. Especially at the beginning of pregnancy. Many expectant mothers are still extra careful because they fear that the vibrations will harm the unborn child. But the worry is usually unfounded. Even in the first trimester, you can lace up your sports shoes as usual if you want to. Or maybe you want to take it easy because you have nausea, circulatory problems, or fatigue while your body is adjusting to pregnancy. Of course, that’s just as fine.
Listen to your body and only do sports as long and intensively as you feel comfortable. The intensity mainly depends on how physically fit you were before you became pregnant. If you’ve done little or no exercise before, these nine months may not be the right time to start an intense fitness plan.
You may have to make modifications to your usual training at some point to reconcile it with your growing baby bump. The following applies throughout pregnancy: If you are unsure or feel uncomfortable, you can always consult your gynecologist or midwife. They can tell you whether you should adjust your sports program if necessary.
Which Exercises For Pregnant Women Are Well Suited?
Yoga Or Pilates
With the most gentle exercises for strengthening and balance, yoga and Pilates are the ideal training during pregnancy. They are also a good addition to endurance sports. When performed regularly, the exercises strengthen the back muscles, improve posture, and thus help with back pain, which pregnant women often suffer from. You can find out which advantages yoga offers you during pregnancy and what you should pay attention to in the article “Yoga for Pregnant Women.”
Many expectant mothers take advantage of the wide range of special yoga or Pilates courses that are specially adapted to the changing needs during pregnancy.
Swimming is one of the classic sports in pregnancy and not without reason: the movement in cool water trains all muscle groups and, at the same time, protects the joints. Many pregnant women enjoy the fact that they do not have to carry the weight of their growing baby bump in the water. No matter if lane swimming, special pregnancy swimming or aqua aerobics: Everything that is fun and comfortable is allowed in the water until the last third of pregnancy.
As long as you have no difficulty getting on a bike and you feel safe, you can ride a bike throughout your pregnancy. Cycling is so well suited as an endurance sport during pregnancy because it is easy on the joints, and the pulse usually does not go too high. It does not matter whether you exercise in the fresh air or on the ergometer in the gym. If a mountain bike is your vehicle of choice, it might be better to switch to a bike with a lower entry at the end of pregnancy.
Gymnastics is also the ideal companion for those who do not want to exercise, to strengthen themselves, and keep fit during pregnancy. Many sports clubs and gyms offer extra courses for pregnant women, where you can also make contact with other expectant mothers. The best thing to do is to inquire directly at your gym or sports club about the special offers. If you prefer not to commit yourself to a specific course, there is also a wide range of gymnastics exercises for pregnancy that you can perform flexibly and without a lot of accessories at home.
In addition to a gymnastics course, you can also attend a special birth preparation course, if you want that. Specific exercises and breathing techniques to prepare for childbirth are taught.
Some passionate runners wonder if they can go jogging as usual during pregnancy. One of the reasons for this is that the rumor that the mechanical movements could trigger premature birth persists. However, this concern is unfounded: No such effects of moderate exercise in pregnancy on the baby have been demonstrated. As long as your doctor allows you, nothing is standing in the way of running even during pregnancy, especially if you are active and good at training anyway. But there is no reason not to start jogging only during pregnancy. The best way to do this is to start with fast walking and increase slowly.
Your pulse provides you with a good orientation as to whether you are doing too much. It should not exceed 140 to 150 beats per minute. This value corresponds to your baby’s normal heart rate. It is advisable to exercise with a heart rate monitor. In the last trimester, jogging can also put too much strain on your joints. In this case, you should switch to walking. Many expectant mums also find a waist belt comfortable when jogging or running for a long time.
The belt supports the growing baby bump and relieves the back. Whether you put too much pressure on yourself: it should not exceed 140 to 150 beats per minute. This value corresponds to your baby’s normal heart rate. In the last trimester, jogging can also put too much strain on your joints. In this case, you should switch to walking.
Zumba, salsa, or ballet: even in pregnancy, you can keep swinging as long as you don’t overexert yourself. As a precaution, you should only avoid daring jumps and inexperienced turns. The reason for this is the gestagen hormone, which loosens the ligaments and joints to prepare you for childbirth. The unpleasant side effect: strains and overstretching occur more quickly, increasing the risk of injury.
Strength training is still possible during pregnancy with certain restrictions and after consultation with your doctor. As a rule of thumb, pregnant women can continue their training to maintain muscle, but not building muscle. When in doubt, it means reducing weights. You should also be careful not to exercise your straight abdominal muscles after the 20th week of pregnancy to avoid rectal diastasis. A rectal diastasis occurs when the gap that forms between the two straight abdominal muscles during pregnancy to give space to the growing baby bump no longer closes by itself.
Which Exercises For Pregnant Women Should You Better Avoid?
Even if exercise during pregnancy is generally good for you and your baby and you can continue to practice a variety of sports during the nine months (possibly with certain modifications), you should better avoid some activities. These include risky sports such as skiing, riding, or martial arts. The risk of falling and injury is big, because your body’s center of gravity shifts with a growing belly.
Also, for fast team sports like volleyball, basketball, or handball risk that your belly will be rammed or you fall on. It is too high, and you should, therefore, take a break until you feel fit enough after giving birth. With Crossfit, rowing, and gymnastics, a break is advisable from the 20th week of pregnancy at the latest, as this strains the abdominal muscles too much.
If you are unsure whether you can continue to practice your favorite sport without problems during pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor, midwife or trainer. The same applies to multiple pregnancies and if you suffer from gestational diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or an infection.
As long as you feel good about it, it is wonderful if you exercise regularly during your pregnancy. Do something good for yourself and your baby and enjoy your new body feeling. To keep the fun of the movement undisturbed, always make sure you drink enough and that you get enough carbohydrates and nutrients. Also, listen to your body and stop your workout immediately if you feel unwell, dizzy, or in pain.
We wish you an active pregnancy with your little explorer in your stomach!